Updated: Sep 2
On Thursday 31st March we launched our new initiative, #NotJustForBoys Champions, at the Belfast headquarters of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The #NotJustForBoys Champions’ initiative collaborates with construction industries and other supporters to help change the representation of construction and help it to become a more welcoming and inclusive space for women and girls to work in. It supports the wider work of WOMEN’STEC and the highly successful #NotJustForBoys programme. Working in partnership with schools, colleges, and industry, the programme breaks down gender stereotypes and empowers women and girls to explore careers in non-traditional industries where women are under-represented, along with helping to bridge the current skills gap.
We were honoured and excited to launch our new initiative at the venue. We felt well supported by those who attended, who are keen to help make change within the industries and to be a voice for women and girls who feel they cannot pursue their dreams to work within the trades due to gender barriers. It is vital that women and girls are provided with opportunities and access to the industries, especially as the construction industry is currently facing a skills shortage. This campaign will encourage champions to advocate for change and help create pathways to industry, accessing a wider pool of labour and fulfilling some of the 43,000 unfilled vacancies that the construction industry currently has. Partnerships with the industry, schools and colleges are key to the success of this initiative and we encourage industry, particularly across sectors where women are underrepresented, to become a #NotJustForBoys Champion.
Lisa McCaul, Social Enterprise Manager with WOMEN’STEC, said:
"We are delighted to be launching the #NotJustForBoys Champions initiative today. We know there is a skills shortage and that the industry need to access a wider pool of labour and we know that women and girls are not offered these choices when considering career pathways.”
Lynn Carvill, Chief Executive of WOMEN’STEC said:
“This launch is the culmination of months of work, consulting with the construction industry and others who are keen to improve workforce diversity and inclusion. It is unfortunate but true that gender stereotypes persist both in the career’s advice offered and this follows through into the wider workforce. We want to see more women and girls in careers where men predominate, and the construction industry wants to see this too. This campaign is a ‘win-win’ for all! I am really looking forward to seeing the #NotJustForBoys Champions badge used far and wide across Northern Ireland.”
So, who can be a #NotJustForBoys Champion? The answer is, anyone! Businesses, individuals, and schools- there is no limit to how wide this campaign can reach.
Please feel free to check out our article published by Belfast Live: WOMEN’STEC launches new initiative #NotJustForBoys Champions - Belfast Live and sign up to become a champion on our site.